Down 1,050 this week

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  23 March 1953 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,101 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 15 critic

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.



(screenplay), (story)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

Related News

Dialogues: David Fincher's "Gone Girl"

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 45 titles
created 28 Nov 2011
a list of 29 titles
created 02 Jun 2012
a list of 45 titles
created 03 Dec 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 20 Feb 2013
a list of 21 titles
created 27 Aug 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Blue Gardenia (1953)

The Blue Gardenia (1953) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Blue Gardenia.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York, and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the 1st administrator who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Paul Douglas
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in a sordid affair with a co-worker's wife and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman, Jane Wyatt
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Adventure | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In WW2, the Allies race against time to persuade two nuclear scientists working for the Nazis to switch sides.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Lilli Palmer
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a lovely wife and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A western based on the story "Gunsight Whitman" by Silvia Richards. Vern Haskell, a nice rancher, seeks out to avenge his fiancé's death when she is killed during a robbery. His revenge ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer
Moonfleet (1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Moonfleet is set in Dorset, England. The Fleet refers to the land just west of Portland, Southern England.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Joan Greenwood


Complete credited cast:
Norah Larkin
Casey Mayo
Crystal Carpenter
Harry Prebble
Jeff Donnell ...
Sally Ellis
Ruth Storey ...
Rose Miller
Nat 'King' Cole


In Los Angeles, on the day of her birthday, the telephone operator Norah Larkin decides to celebrate dining alone at home, with the picture of his beloved fiancé, a soldier overseas, and reading his last letter for her. In the letter he tells that he met a Japanese nurse and he wanted to get married with her. Norah, completely upset, accepts to blind date the Don Juan and photographer of calendar girls Harry Prebble. They go to the Blue Gardenia Club, and Norah drinks six strong cocktails Polynesian Pearl Divers and gets completely drunk. Harry takes her to his apartment and tries to force Norah to have sex, and she uses a poker to hit Harry on the head. On the next morning, she wakes-up in her apartment with her two roommates, but she can not remember what happened. When she reads the newspaper, she finds that Harry is dead and the police has her handkerchief, her high heels and her blue gardenia and is chasing the woman that killed the famous wolf Harry. When she reads in the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 March 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La femme au gardénia  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sally enjoys reading bloody thrillers written by Mickey Mallet - a spoof on Mickey Spillane, whose novels featuring Mike Hammer are just as gruesome as those Sally describes. See more »


It is stated that the record on the turntable was still playing when the body was discovered. This would not have happened because the turntable is a 'record changer' that automatically shuts off when the control arm is engaged and there are no more records in the stack. In the flashback sequence, Harry Prebble is shown activating the control arm. If it had been left disengaged (up and to the side) it would have played the record continuously as mentioned. See more »


Sally Ellis: I didn't like Prebble when he was alive. But now that he's been murdered, that always makes a man so romantic.
See more »


Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »


Prelude and Liebestod
from "Tristan and Isolde"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played over the airport loudspeaker, and on the phonograph
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Prelude and Liebestodt
23 January 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Fritz Lang was pressed for time when he undertook to direct this movie. It shows! This film was based on a novel by Vera Caspary, the author of "Laura", but in comparison to her best known work, this story pales next to it. The screenplay by Charles Hoffman doesn't make it better, but it's far from a terrible movie.

If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading here.

First of all, this is not a movie that belongs to the film noir genre. Far from it, it is a movie with a mystery and perhaps some suspense. The only thing that might come close to being a noir is the a couple of sequences filmed during the night, but nothing else matches that category.

First of all, the heroine of the film is an ingenue. How else can we classify Norah, the young telephone operator from a small town near Los Angeles? She is in love with a G.I. that is serving overseas. Norah has received a letter from him, but waits until she is having a celebratory dinner by herself to read it. Well, she learns that she has been dumped. When the phone rings for her roommate, Chrystal, she answers and gets an invitation for dinner at the Blue Gardenia, a trendy eatery where "umbrella drinks" are served. Nat Cole is the entertainer singing a horrible little number that is repeated throughout the picture.

This is the beginning of Norah's downfall. She gets drunk and her date invites her to go to his apartment. Harry Prebble has other ideas of how to spend a relaxed night at home listening to Nat Cole's rendition of the song heard at the restaurant to put Norah into a romantic mood. She passes out, only to be awakened by an insisting Harry. We watch Norah reject his advances, a mirror is broken, and the next thing we know, he's dead.

To make matters worse, Casey Mayo, the local star reporter, takes an interest in the "Blue Gardenia" murder. Norah, who hasn't told anyone about her experience, is having pangs of anxiety. What to do? After all is investigated, everyone realizes Norah couldn't have done the murder herself. It's Mayo who discovers the secret because instead of Nat Cole in the record player, the LP they heard when they get to Harry's apartment is a Wagner opus. This in turn, solves the mystery in pointing to a minor character seen only for maybe a minute of screen time! That was the best example of true sleuthing.

"Blue Gardenia" shows us the young and beautiful Anne Baxter. Her Norah is a naive woman swimming in a sea full of sharks. Ms. Baxter does her best under the circumstances. Richard Conte, as Casey Mayo is sadly miscast in the movie. Sassy Ann Southern doesn't have much to do. Raymond Burr is effective as the lecherous Harry, but unfortunately he doesn't stay around too long.

The movie is a minor Lang.

30 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who was the boy in the newsroom? sleepybone
Living Quarters Are Modest classicera
The bartender at the Blue Gardenia.... bossanovabear
the killer troifrer
Is the picture of Norah's (ex)boyfriend Ralph Meeker? LookCaptain
Voice on the Radio listened to under the sheets? edavid2d
Discuss The Blue Gardenia (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: